Growing interest of Italian investors for Provence

Growing interest of Italian investors for Provence
The city of Turin, Piedmont region - Copyright ©Bertu - Creative Commons License CC0
29 April 2021 / Eco-industries, Energy, invest in provence, ITER

A special attention given to new energies and eco-industries

For the last two years, Italy has ranked in the Top 3 for foreign project holders assisted by Provence Promotion. Italian companies that have recently come to the Aix-Marseille region account for 14% of the agency's 2020 results. This momentum is sustained by close collaboration between Provence Promotion and the Italian Chamber of Commerce for France in Marseille (CCIFM), which works to foster international business expansion and bilateral trade. The transformations under way in the manufacturing and energy sectors are closely watched by our Italian neighbors. The high level of interest has not flagged in 2021.

Naturally bound by their geography and their history, Provence and Italy have developed strong economic cooperation founded in part on tourism, but not entirely. Italian companies have been making regular and ongoing investments in southern France in industries as diverse as manufacturing, energy, aeronautics, agribusiness and healthcare.

Over these two years, Provence Promotion has helped eight companies in those sectors finalize their investment plans in Bouches-du-Rhône Department.

In 2020, Provence Promotion lent its support to:

  • the Italian group La Linea Verde to open a prewashed salad packaging plant in Sénas that currently employs 20 people and plans to create 30 more jobs by the end of the year;
  • the acquisition of the Aix-based business Homeperf by the Sapio group, a specialist in industrial and medical gases and home healthcare, successfully saving over 100 jobs;
  • and the Marseille expansion of the Italian firm PreGel, which supplies raw and semiprocessed ingredients to produce ice creams and plans to add 10 more employees to its team.

Another example is the French branch of Vitrociset, a company owned by the Italian engineering group Leonardo, which has been growing in the region since 2019. Operating out of Saint-Paul-les-Durance, it has built a team of 20 engineers that is now managing several contracts relating to the ITER scientific program.

Burgeoning interest in manufacturing and energy in Provence

Through its prospecting activities, Provence Promotion has observed that Italian investors are keenly focused on manufacturing and the energy transformation.

At the invitation of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for France in Marseille (CCIFM), presided by Mr. Domenico Basciano, Provence Promotion spoke recently as part of "Business Forum Europa" and the webinar devoted to the Piedmont region to 100 Italian businesses, the vast majority of which work in manufacturing and CleanTech.

Thus, the presentation emphasized Smart Port projects at the Port of Marseille Fos, recent investments by major manufacturers in the Etang de Berre area and the ITER thermonuclear fusion reactor project.

This talk is a continuation of the close collaboration between Provence Promotion and the CCIFM in 2020, which culminated in a video-conference on "Aix-Marseille-Provence: a region rife with energy and environment opportunities in a diversified economy" and follow-up with eight companies with potential interest in doing business in Provence.

"Italian companies are particularly interested in the development of new energy sources like hydrogen, LNG, solar, offshore wind farms, marine geothermal power and nuclear fusion, as with the ITER project. Our collaboration with Provence Promotion makes it possible to showcase the advanced expertise of Aix-Marseille in all these areas and to find synergies with Italian investors," notes Antonella Donadio, Secretary General of the CCIFM. "Right now, this approach has led us to work together to assist eight companies that share interests in Provence related to the emergence of the energies of the future and eco-industries".

In order to reach carbon neutrality in the European Union by 2050, Italy just announced its decision to dedicate the biggest portion of its stimulus plan ‒ €68.6 billion Euros ‒ to speed up its green revolution and energy transition.

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